Tag Archives: Ghostface Killah

CHANGE THE COLOR OF YOUR BLUE TOPS

This is a real eyes-closed-head-nod-lip-biter.

Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD – Street Knowledge (feat. Tree)

Tagged , ,

UNALTERED

Rap is talking with music.

– Lil’ B

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire just released this pretty unsettling rap song today, and it got me thinkin’.

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – One for Sophie

About a month ago, Wills sent me a link to this beautiful Darondo song, and like most music Wills passes on to me, it’s extremely solid.

Darondo – Didn’t I

I’d actually heard this song before though, but as the context for “Remember the Time” by Grip Grand.  What’s interesting about this song as opposed to all the other sample digging I talk about on here is that, like “One for Sophie” above, this song isn’t used as a brief snippet or loop for the rap, it’s just the full, unaltered track with the verses overdubbed on top.  No editing, no added drums, no cuts, completely unaltered.  Pretty rare, but not unheard of.  In fact, this isn’t the first time eXquire has used this technique.

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Vanilla Rainbows

Of course if you keep up with this blog, then you know I recently mentioned the ultimate incarnation of this technique in relation to Raekwon’s newest mixtape that starts to do what I’m talking about here but doesn’t quite go all the way.

Ghostface Killah – Holla

Anybody know of any others?  It’d be cool to have a full mix of songs like this but four songs by three artists is kind of a weak mix.  Help me out!

Tagged , , ,

GUEST POST: INFINITE SKILLS CREATE MIRACLES

this guest post written by Matt Hall (@mattisonherenow)

Those of you that know me probably know that I’m about to turn thirty. Thinking about that upcoming milestone has led me down more than a couple of retrospective paths, which more often than not end up focusing on the music that’s been important during different stages of my life. To be honest, I don’t remember the first time I drove a car, and no offense to the girl in question, but my first kiss is a total blur, but I can vividly remember the first punk rock show I saw, the first time I heard Illmatic, and the first time I landed a kickflip like it was yesterday.

Skateboarding hasn’t always been as super prevalent with both established and imminent young rappers as it has been in the past few years, but rap has certainly been integrated into skate culture for over 2 decades. I don’t know if you hung out with skateboard dudes at all when you were younger, but I was pretty into that whole scene, and it’s really the reason that I ever got into rap music. I got into punk rock pretty young, but it was really skate videos and magazines that made me more interested stuff like Gang Starr (who I wrote about in my previous post),

Gang Starr – Above the Clouds (feat. Inspectah Deck) [from Steve Olson in Fulfill the Dream]

early Wu-Tang solo cuts,

Method Man/Ghostface Freestyle [from Harold Hunter in Zoo York’s Mixtape no. 1]

and eventually even earlier videos with dudes like Fu-Schnickens.

Fu-Schnickens – La Schmoove [from Sean Sheffey in Plan B Questionable]

Anyway, my favorite skate video of all time is from a company called Girl. The video is Mouse. If you’re interested, you can watch it in its entirety here. I promise it’s worth it. [editor’s note: he’s right]

Mouse was directed by Spike Jonze back before anybody really knew who he was, and the soundtrack is amazing. As far as I know, it’s the only skate video ever that has a (mostly) soul/R&B soundtrack instead of punk rock and/or hip hop. I can remember going to the record store at the mall (that used to exist!) to order a Cymande CD when I was 14 because of this video.

Among skateboarders, it’s mostly remembered because it helped to usher in a new era of style-heavy technical skating, but I really like it because it made me interested in music that was totally unfamiliar to me at the time. Even if you don’t feel like watching the whole thing, at least check out the soundtrack, it’s a pretty solid collection top to bottom, and every track on it still makes me more than a little nostalgic.

Tagged , , , , , ,

GUEST POST: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SINGLE WORD IN A RAP SONG EVER?

this guest post written by Matt Hall (@mattisonherenow)

First of all, I’d like to tip my hat to my good friend Rick/DJ REDLite for not only starting this blog (which is consistently every bit as real and honest as it is entertaining), but also believing that my silly-ass thoughts are worth consideration. My late night nonsensical emails to Rick about songs I’ve been thinking about have long predated this blog. I guess I’ve sent him so many YouTube links and asked him so many absurd questions that he had no choice but to ask me to write another late night note for all of you to read.

One of the most recent emails I sent him was to ask the question, “What is your favorite single word in any rap song ever?” I feel like this is a topic that is pretty solid for my first post here.

I can honestly remember the first time I ever heard “Verbal Intercourse” from Raekwon the Chef’s first solo record Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. I think it was the first Wu-Tang album I heard after Enter the 36 Chambers. Nas’s verse was the first time anyone from outside the Wu-Tang camp had rapped on one of their tracks, and in that era (almost 20 years ago!) that really meant something. Raekwon talks a little bit about recording that verse and his choice of bringing in Nas to feature on the track here.

Nas has the first verse, and he opens up with some of the best lines of his career, in my opinion, and when he gets the line

“Smoke a gold leaf I hold heat nonchalantly”

the way he delivers the word: “nonchalantly”; gets me every time. It’s got more syllables than anything else in the verse, and the way he says it, totally cool and unconcerned, is the very definition of the word itself. To me it is the gold standard in flow.

Raekwon – Verbal Intercourse (feat. Nas & Ghostface Killah)

I really love everything about the song though, Raekwon and Ghostface have excellent verses as well, and the RZA’s production was at its all-time peak in this era. The way he loops the, “but WHAT,” from The Emotions song “If You Think It You May As Well Do It,” is brilliant.

Interestingly enough, Nas didn’t write that verse specifically for the Raekwon track. It actually first showed up on a song called “Déjà Vu” on a demo recorded for his second album It Was Written.  Some rap fans at the time felt like that album was kind of a let down after the undisputed classic that is Illmatic, but I think it’s aged well. I’m not sure why “Déjà Vu” got left off. There’s
speculation that the label wanted Nas to go in a more radio-friendly direction, and that song definitely has a grittier feel. Either way, it’s a classic verse, and it features my favorite single word in any rap song ever.

Nas – Déjà Vu

Tagged , , , , ,

RAP JOURNEY #12 – FROM THE BEAT KONDUCTA TO BLACK IVORY

Dang, I’ve been writing about Madlib a lot lately, so seems appropriate that I should share this one with you all now.  I actually wrote this a little while ago, but I don’t like to have too many Rap Journeys right in a row, seems better to spread em out a little.  So here ya go!

I’m sure you can imagine my excitement writing this post after how giddy I was about figuring out a Madlib sample back in this post.  This one’s even more crazy and involved than that one was, and I’m pretty pumped about bringing it to y’all.

This is one I’ve been curious about for a while, and it took a little encouragement from ol’ Mike Allen to get my off my ass and actually figure this shit out, and I’m glad he did.  See we’re both real big Madlib fans, and so we’ve both put in plenty of time listening to the Beat Konducta series he’s put out over the years.  I remember being at Amber’s house getting things set up for Trent and Sammi’s wedding and this album was playing while me and Mike (and like 15 other people) were doing God knows what trying get everything ready in time.

Madlib the Beat Konducta – Understanding (Comprehension)

Man, that beat feels so nice.  But like most Malib stuff, I don’t hold out much hope of finding where that shit came from, that dude’s got records I could only dream of hearing, much less owning.  But then two years later, this Q-Tip album came out, and besides being just an awesome album, it made me think that Understanding sample might be a little more attainable than I once thought.

Q-Tip – Gettin’ Up

But like I said, laziness and forgetfulness took hold of me and I never took the time to get to the bottom of this connection.  I could tell Q-Tip didn’t just grab a chunk of that Madlib sample, Tip’s version of the sample is a little bit longer and just sounds different, so I figured he must have gone to the source to use it.  Then when Mike heard this Wiz Khalifa track, he decided to hit me up and see if I knew where it came from cuz it was showing up all over the place now.

Black Ivory – You and I

It took 5 years of being lazy before I took just a few minutes to track down this sample, but I did it.  Thanks for making it possible, Mike!  Here’s a bonus for you to make up for my sluggish research pace on this, I checked out that Black Ivory album and found this track.

Black Ivory – I Keep Asking You Questions

Which, 23 years later, birthed this classic.

Raekwon – Criminology (feat. Ghostface Killah)

Tagged , , , , , ,

CHECK OUT THE GRAYS ON THE SIDE OF MY WAVES

I judge records by their covers all the time.  When I saw this one, there’s no way I couldn’t check it out.

Baby Huey – Hard Times

Little did I know I’d find the source for a track from one of my favorite Ghostface albums, Supreme Clientele.

Ghostface Killah – Buck 50 (feat. Method Man, Redman, & Cappadonna)

I really love the formless determination of this track.  That horn loop just hits so hard over and over again, I feel like I can accomplish anything while I’m listening to that shit.  There’s also no chorus in the whole thing, and the closest thing to a hook is the little “there’s no love to be found…” sample that pops in every now and then between the totally irregularly-lengthed verses, and different dudes keep popping in to talk for a little bit.  Method Man starts sounding like he’s trying to make a chorus happen for a second around 2:30, but it just kinda fades out into another Ghostface verse and continues.  I’ve always loved that track, and it’s cool to know where that sweet loop came from.  Good thing that Baby Huey cover is so amazing.

Tagged , , , , ,

LET THE BEAT BUILD #6 – WU-TANG CLAN

Well I guess I’m going to have to eat my words about RZA not being a producer that has big builds in his music usually, cuz he produced this one too and it’s one of the most effective builds I’ve heard in rap.  I feel like this song illustrates better than any other song I’ve heard the idea of reaching a breaking point and having to change your whole attitude to adapt to circumstances.

Wu-Tang Clan – I Can’t Go To Sleep (feat. Isaac Hayes)

The beat starts out so emotional and mournful, and after it builds to that unbearable climax, it totally flips and switches to a sound that feels more like embracing that dark side and living with it and giving up on a lot of those feelings you were having, for better or worse.  And the lyrics match perfectly.  It hits so hard when that build ends during RZA’s verse and he comes in all off-beat and aggressive going “Walkin’ through park hill drunk as a fuck…”  It’s a beautiful representation of what happens every day, unfortunately, to so many people.  And with Isaac Hayes jumpin in here and there, fuckin perfect.

Tagged , , ,

CLEAR MY HEAD, STAY SOBER. THE SOUL CONTROLLER

I just read this little article about it being the 15th anniversary of Ghosftace Killah’s first solo album Ironman, and even though the only song they talk about specifically is Assassination Day and how RZA actually bought a slide guitar and recorded the guitar stuff in that beat (awesome!), my favorite song from that album has always been this one.

Ghostface Killah – The Soul Controller

Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: